27 Oct 2020 1:16 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Monday asked Bilkis Bano, who was gang- raped when she was five months pregnant during the 2002 Gujarat riots, to approach the authorities concerned with her grievances over the job offer and accommodation provided by the state. A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked advocate Shobha Gupta, representing Bano, to withdraw...
The Supreme Court on Monday asked Bilkis Bano, who was gang- raped when she was five months pregnant during the 2002 Gujarat riots, to approach the authorities concerned with her grievances over the job offer and accommodation provided by the state.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian asked advocate Shobha Gupta, representing Bano, to withdraw her interlocutory application and make a representation.
"Ms. Shobha Gupta, learned counsel for the applicant seeks leave of this Court to withdraw the interlocutory application with liberty to make a representation before the concerned authorities. The interlocutory application is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty as prayed for," the bench said.
On October 12, the Gujarat government told the top court that it had paid Rs 50 lakh and provided a job to Bano.
Bano, in her application, said she was not satisfied with compliance of the apex court order with regard to the job offer and provision for accommodation made by the state government.
She said that the state government has done only lip service in the name of compliance of the orders of the top court.
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government had said that the state has given Rs 50 lakh and a job to Bano as directed by the court, and opposed her plea.
Bano, in her application filed through advocate Gupta, said that in the place of accommodation, the state government had given only 50 square metres land, which is notified in records as garden area zone.
She said that as far as the job is concerned, the state government has offered her a peon's job in the Irrigation Department on contract basis for a particular project in fixed pay grade.
On September 30, last year the top court had directed that the Gujarat government to give within two weeks Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and an accommodation of choice to Bano. The top court asked the Gujarat government why it had not complied with the apex court's earlier order of April 23, 2019 and given the compensation to Bano.
She had earlier told the top court that despite its order the Gujarat government has not provided anything to her.
The top court had clarified that its April order giving Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and an accommodation to Bano was passed keeping in view the peculiar facts of the case.
It had in April, last year directed the state government to pay the compensation to Bano within two weeks.
The top court had also asked the state government to withdraw the pensionary benefits given to erring police officials involved in the case.
Bano had earlier refused to accept the offer of Rs five lakh and sought an exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.
According to the prosecution, on March 3, 2002, Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad in the aftermath of the Godhra riots.
Bano, five months pregnant at that time, was gang raped and some members of her family killed. The trial in the case initially began in Ahmedabad.
However, after Bano expressed apprehensions that witnesses could be harmed and the CBI evidence could be tampered with, the Supreme Court had transferred the case to Mumbai in August 2004.
A special court on January 21, 2008 had convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for raping Bano and murdering seven of her family members, while acquitting seven persons, including the policemen and doctors.
The convicts later approached the Bombay High Court and sought quashing and setting aside of the trial court's conviction.
The high court, on May 4, 2017, convicted seven people -- five policemen and two doctors -- under sections 218 (not performing their duties) and section 201 (tampering of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The top court had on July 10, 2017 dismissed the appeals of two doctors and four policemen, including IPS officer R S Bhagora, challenging their conviction by the high court, saying there were "clear-cut evidences" against them. One of the officers did not appeal.